Sherwood Oak planted to commemorate Nottinghamshire’s Pilgrims

by | 14 May 2021 | Heritage, Retford, Sherwood, Worksop

400 years ago, the Mayflower Pilgrims left England and set out for America. A number of the most influential and important Pilgrims came from North Nottinghamshire and to mark its seminal place in the Mayflower story, the Sherwood Forest Trust has planted a commemorative oak at Babworth Church – where William Brewster and Reverend Richard Clifton delivered their sermons.
Dr Patrick Candler of the Sherwood Forest Trust explained: “We wanted to commemorate the role of Nottinghamshire in the Mayflower story and what better way than to use the most noted of our county’s natural resources. The oak is the most emblematic English tree, famed for its beauty, strength and longevity. And the Pilgrim story shows how from ‘little acorns’ as they say, great things can grow.
The trust is very grateful for the kind permission of the church and local landowner, Sir Jack Whitaker, to plant this specimen oak, which was provided by Green Mile Trees of Babworth.
Peter Swinscoe, Babworth Church warden, said: “Babworth Church has an important part to play in the development of the thinking of the Pilgrims who were preached to by the Reverend Richard Clifton in the years before the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620. This superb tree will still be growing in our churchyard one hundred years from now!”
The ceremony included a selection of Brewster’s sermons read by actor Charles Cromwell and the oak tree was blessed by the Reverent Richard Hanford. The trust appreciates the financial support given by Bassetlaw District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council to enable them to organise this project.